Under the patronage of HRH Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Arabian Airlines, the airline celebrated on January 03, 2006 the launch of the first two aircraft of its new Embraer fleet.
Saudi Arabian Airlines has purchased for the first time in its history fifteen new Embraer 170 aircrafts in a $400 million self-financed deal. "Saudi Arabian Airlines is the first airline in the Middle East to purchase this type of aircraft," said H.E. Dr. Khaled A. Ben-Bakr, Director General Saudi Arabian Airlines.
H.E. added that the benefits of the Embraer deal to the airline include technology transfers through the preparation and training of Saudi technicians on the maintenance of the new aircraft and the training of pilots on the newly received simulator. Saudi Arabian Airlines received the first two aircraft in December. Another two will be delivered in January, followed by the delivery of one aircraft every month. HRH Prince Sultan received an award from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regional Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, Dr. Majdi Sabri on the airline's level of operational safety.